**Note: this blog has been recently updated with what I believe to be the correct Latin name for the subspecies of yam daisy we have been growing - microseris scapigera (not microseris lanceolata). This is the alpine form of the plant and likely to be the species naturally growing in Namadgi, where the original seeds had apparently been collected. The confusion arose due to the original plants we bought being labelled as microseris lanceolata, which I have since learned is actually a larger sized and less palatable plant.**
When Europeans first arrived in the Canberra area, it was said that the open hillsides glowed yellow with yam daisy flowers - a delicious indigenous staple food. This little yellow flowered plant looks remarkably similar to a dandelion, but up close it is quite different.
Sadly today yam daisies are quite hard to find. Decades of sheep grazing has almost eradicated this plant from its former habitats. The yellow flowers you see around the suburbs, and increasingly in our national parks, are usually exotic dandelions and cat's ears.
So next time you're walking through the bush and you come across a yellow flower, how can you tell if it's really a yam daisy?
In this post I'll show you how.
If ever there was a plant that can make you feel like you're the greatest gardener, it has to be the Jerusalem artichoke. Give them a little water, forget about them, and then after their cheery yellow blooms fall (they're a relative of the sunflower) and the plant dies down for winter, there's a secret haul of sweet knobbly tubers just below the surface.
News from our own garden plus advice about permaculture, plants, growing food and sustainable gardening in Canberra.